Rules and restrictions on businesses to be lifted

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there will still be strict controls on the border, but all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services will be "essentially lifted" under alert level 1.

New Zealand has been at level 2 for three weeks, with social distancing and restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather.

On Monday, the Cabinet will consider whether New Zealand is ready for a move to level 1, which could begin next week on Wednesday, June 10.

Ardern said at a media briefing on Wednesday afternoon it was the Government's "strong desire" to get to level 1 as soon as was safe and possible. 

There will be no distancing rules at bars and restaurants at level 1. All restrictions on businesses, like hospitality, would be lifted with no distancing of tables.

Churches, sports stadiums, community sport, and funerals of any size can all resume while physical distancing on planes and public transport can lift.

At this level, Kiwis would have to adopt new habits, such as good hand hygiene, and there would still be strict border controls.

When New Zealand reaches alert level 1 it would mean all of the hard work had paid off, lives had been saved and the economic recovery could happen sooner.

She said the lower alert level will also put an end to restrictions for hospitality businesses, and gatherings of any size can take place.

Physical distancing measures will not be considered necessary.

"Community sport can start without physical distancing restrictions."

However, Ardern said the move to level 1 did not mean our battle with the virus was over. Asymptomatic transmission was a risk, she said.

She paid tribute to the efforts made in the fight against the coronavirus so far.

"Lives have been saved, hospital protected from overflow and the job of economic recovery will be able to start faster."

Ardern outlined golden rules under alert level 1:

• If you are sick, stay home.

• If you have cold or flu-like symptoms get tested

• Wash your hands, Wash your hands, Wash your hands

• Sneeze and cough into your elbow and regularly disinfect shared surfaces

• If you are told by health authorities to self isolate you must do so immmediately

• If concerned about your wellbeing or you have underlying health conditions consult with your GP

• Keep track of where you've been and who you've seen so we can use that for contact tracing if needed

• Businesses should help with rule seven by displaying a QR code


Watch health briefing with Dr Ashley Bloomfield:

There have been no new Covid-19 cases for the 12th day in a row, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said today.

One active case remains, an Auckland woman in her 50s, but she was first reported as a suspected case on May 1.

Confirmed and probable cases remains at 1504, with the total number of confirmed cases - which is reported to the World Health Organisation - still at 1154.

- RNZ and NZ Herald 










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